Ken Thomson speaks at an internal civil service event
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A top civil servant working with Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish Government has been recorded telling his colleagues that “breaking up” the UK was his job. Director-General of Strategy and External Affairs, Ken Thomson was speaking at an international civil service event when he made the shocking remarks which have sparked calls for SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon to take action.
Mr Thomson told colleagues: “I’ll tell you a secret about why I’ve got ‘strategy’ in my job description.
“It’s a word that gets me through some doors in Whitehall, and then they discover that what I’m actually there to talk about is breaking up the Kingdom.”
“So it’s a shorthand for constitutional change.”
Mr Thomson’s boast triggered a backlash from Scots who took to social media to voice their anger and call for the civil servant to be sacked.
One person, @AgentP22 on Twitter wrote: “Ken Thomson should be fired. He had one job, breaking up the UK. He failed. Sack him.”
Another @chrisreiki1 added: “Nic has one job, and should fall on the same sword”
@TooManyNumpties said: “Using our money – sack him and then #ResignSturgeon.”
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It comes after judges at the UK’s highest court announced their unanimous ruling on Wednesday, making clear the Scottish Parliament “does not have the power to legislate for a referendum on Scottish independence”.
Following the judgment, Ms Sturgeon vowed to continue pushing for independence, saying: “As long as there is breath in my body, I refuse to give up on the basic principle of democracy.”
She said a special SNP conference will be held in the new year “to discuss and agree on the detail of a proposed de facto referendum”, using the next UK election.
Donald Cameron, constitution spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives, said: “This outburst is unacceptable, and I will be writing to the permanent secretary to see if he agrees with me that it represents a breach of the requirement for civil servants to be politically impartial
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“We all know that the nationalists’ strategy amounts to nothing other than breaking up the UK, but civil servants should not be boasting that it’s their job.
“Given the court’s ruling, it’s unacceptable for taxpayers’ money and civil servants’ time to be spent like this.
“When there are serious questions about the SNP persisting with projects that may well be outwith the Scottish Government’s lawful competence, this is another example of their focus being on their own constitutional obsession.
He added: “It’s the wrong priority at the worst possible time, when Scots want and expect the SNP to focus on pressing issues, such as the cost-of-living crisis and Scotland’s crumbling NHS.”
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